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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read through this seven page (so far) thread on this DVI/HDCP controversy. Can someone explain it in plain English for me. What I understand is that this new standard will somehow reduce or eliminate a digital tv receiver from duplicating/copying etc. digital content. OK, got that. Whether or not this is a fair use restriction etc. is not my question. What I don't understand is why this is going to adversely affect current digital tv set owners. So, could you answer these two questions in English:


1. Exactly why will this hurt current digital tv owners?; and


2. I'm in the market to buy an HDTV capable plasma digital T.V. What do I need to make sure it has or hasn't in order to make sure this DVI/HDCP thing won't make it obsolete in two or three years?


Many thanks in advance.


...Dale
 

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1) All current sets have analog HD inputs only. Some content may not be available in HD through anything but and DVI/HDCP or IEEE1394(Firewire)/HTCP connections. Hence, some content may not be viewable in HD on these sets in the near future (some say 6 months, some say 2-3 years, some say never).


2) No current plasma sets include HDCP protected DVI inputs, although some do contain DVI. DVI without HDCP will face the same restrictions as analog HD connections. No plasma manufacturers have announced models that contain HDCP connections at the present time, although the new (not yet released) Pioneer contains an upgrade "slot" that could support an HDCP/DVI connection, although it's unlikely that Pioneer would be able to obtain the license to make such a card because of it's potential hackability.


Even if you were to buy an HDCP/DVI equipped plasma in the next few months or so (assuming one becomes available), there is no garantee that it won't be obselete in the next 2-3 years, as there is a conflict going on between the HDCP/DVI and Firewire/DTCP camps. Moreover, since the receiver boxes (i.e., satellite and cable STBs) haven't been released yet and apparently won't be until 2003 model year, substantial changes to the encryption schemes and connection protocols are possible.


Sorry, but the game has changed in Consumer Electronics. You used to be able to buy something secure in the knowledge that it would work the same 2-3 years later as the day you bought it. With this new encryption garbage, this is no longer true.




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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dkeller ... that was very helpful ... I think you have sufficiently scared me off from purchasing an HDTV set then. I don't want to plunk down $10K to find it write-off in a couple years. Ugh.


Thanks again.


...Dale
 

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I have to agree with dkeller who, with several others, has graciously spent a large amount of personal time researching and diseminating the knowable facts about this anti-consumer activity. Having said that, I would like to suggest that you purchase a less expensive HDTV model. There are models available in the < $2000 range (FPTV and RPTV). More in the < $3000 range. This would allow you to enjoy the growing list of unencumbered HDTV events. I say "events" because, despite regular scheduling, many of these shows are more like events... they are that good. The efforts put forth by CBS and PBS will likely not be encrypted for some time after the Draconian measures are forced upon us. There is also some growth in independent HDTV event productions (witness the Cubs game last week). There's a lot of great HDTV to enjoy.

Enjoy!



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[This message has been edited by Man E (edited 08-19-2001).]
 

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This argument about digital copy protection on HD has actually been going on for many years. I've been posting about it here for more than a year now.


There is little doubt that many of the content brokers would like to see EVERYTHING controlled and protected.


OTOH, I personally feel that buying an HD set now is still worth the investment. Every time the news of this bubbles back up to the top it creates a wave of anger among the obvious parties. The net result is to push things towards either a compromise or stalemate. Either one extends the life of our analog sets.


No one can really predict, but I think that 2-4 years from now we will start to see new PPV channels that can be viewed on analog component outputs only in a downrezzed fashion. But as long as we don't foolishly ever buy set top boxes that have ONLY digital outputs then that transition can be stalled almost indefinitely.


And probably even the protected channels will have better than DVD quality output.


So while we still need to stay vigilant and fight the good fight, I don't think we need to abandon HD. It would be a shame if those of us who like it best were needlessly scared out of the market. I expect to have long since replaced my set for other reasons before I really need digital protected inputs.


- Tom




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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the additional replies. Unless I'm mistaken though, the sub-$3,000 boxes are HUGE. Given my apartment size constraints and the fact that I move often (usually at least once a year), the thought of lugging that HUGE monster from place to place is not appealing to me.


And secondly, while I'm not too hesitant to plunk down $10,000ish for something that will last indefinately, for some reason plunking down $3,000 for something that will likley last only a couple years (and be huge) is something that just doesn't appeal to me.


This whole thing does sound disheartening to me. I thought the whole copy-protection issues would be on set-top boxes and on computers that can access, copy and manipulate content. The HDTV display is just a dumb device ... but, correct me if I'm wrong, what the content folks are probably worried about is that if this dumb device can accept a pure unencrypted digital signal, then that means that a hacker can install something between whatever is outputting that signal and the dumm HDTV set thereby tap the digital signal to copy it. So the objective is to make sure there is never a pure unencrypted digital signal running through any wires that a hacker can tap into. Well, that all really bites!


I have the $$ to spend and the inkling to buy ... but because of this I won't. I wonder if the FCC is aware of this issue ... They wan't like hell for consumers to buy HDTV sets, but this very thing is going to slow or stop consumer adoption.


...Dale
 

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You've basically got the motivation about sending un-encrypted digital signals between the STB and the display correct, except that there's the additional plan to prevent high-rez analog signals from going between a STB and a display in the future. The last part is why all current HDTVs would be affected, since almost all of them currently have analog RGB or component connections.


Interestingly, these copy-protection plans don't apply just to HDTV. As I understand it, HDCP/DVI was specifically developed by Intel and Silicon Image for the computer monitor market. Besides rendering obselete about 3-6 billion worth of HDTV sets, these schemes will also render obselete all of the computer monitors out there with RGB analog connections. Nice, huh?


Back to the question of purchasing an HDTV. Right now, your "best buy" for HD displays are RPTVs, and these come in all sizes, from smallish 40" Toshibas to whopper 72" mitsubishis. If you do decide you want an HDTV, you could choose to purchase a Mitsubishi, which has promised to offer a firewire/DTCP upgrade for its current sets.


Mitsu has a 46" widescreen HD RPTV for about $2000. It's comparatively lightweight, not nearly as fragile as a plasma, and has a reasonably small footprint. I'd suggest this set as a good compromise until all this BS about copy protection gets sorted out, and as the posters have suggested above, you'll be missing out on quite a bit if you wait 2-3 years for the copy protection wars to be fought.


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I really would advise you to read all the relevant threads if you are considering buying into HD now. I personally fall on the side of NOT thinking the analog outputs will be deprived of significant HD content anytime soon...

I also would call your attention to the excellent Sony HS series monitors, the 53HS10 and 61HS10, both being blown out at Best Buys right now, and both of which will do a very nice job on everything to 480i, VHS, DVD up to HD.

You can get the 61HS10 right now at Best Buys for around 2500, and you'll get about the same 16:9 image as a 55 incher, plus really great performance on all the "transition" media the next few years will bring.

Just my .02.


John


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Dajad: You could also consider a relatively inexpensive front projector that is very small to tide you over. A friend of mine has one in a very small apartment and it works out MUCH better than a huge rear projection TV filling the room. You could probably find a used Sony 400Q LCD projector for under $2K that still has significant warranty left on it (they come with 3 year warranties) that is native widescreen format and looks really, really good with HDTV and DVDs. I'd suggest reading some of the LCD/DLP/DILA projector forum postings.
 

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If you're looking to buy a plasma screen then I assume you want something small, since they only go up to 40"-50". You can spend around $1800 for a Toshiba 40H80 (40" 16:9) and enjoy 2-3 years of unencrypted HDTV until/if these schemes are fully implemented. If you don't, you'll lose out on a lot of great HD programming in that time.


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I'll second that plug for the Toshiba -- it has looked nice enough when I've seen it at retail that I've thought about getting one for my bedroom. If you have a small space, it seems like a nice set. The RCA Scenium LCOS and the Panasonic DLP are also quite compact, but double or quadruple the price.


I'm sorry you didn't find my long posting on page 4 of that discussion clear enough. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif I was really trying to make it as straightforward as possible.


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Mike Kobb

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Dale,


I think there are three scenario's here:


1) DVI/HDCP go nowhere. The defacto Internet boycot of these technologies succeeds, and what you buy today can watch all available HDTV for the next 10 years.


2) DVI/HDCP ramp up slowly. So slowly, that it takes 4 or 5 years before there is the first instance of any content that folks without DVI cannot watch. And that content is likely to be just some relatively exclusive PPV event (like a concert or a boxing match in HD).


3) Analog inputs disapear next year, and by 2003 DVI dominate. Folks who bought before 2002 are simply orphaned and forced to upgrade. These folks band together in a nasty class action suite, the outcome of which is impossible to predict.


My money says #3 is highly unlikely. #3 is also the only scenario under which you would be wasting your money by buying an analog interface HDTV set today. So, my advice is - Go watch your favorite form of HD entertainment (Sports, Movies, whatever) at a friends house who has a setup similar to what you are going to buy. Check out the availability of programming of that type. My wife and I are huge sports fans and simply cannot wait to have the fall calendar of OTA CBS sports programming start (US Open, College Football, some NFL, etc.). Last Spring CBS broadcast the Final Four and the Masters. Seeing football, basketball, and golf on a 110" screen in HD resolution was just an unbelievable experience. If I can watch this for four more years and then have to upgrade, so what.


Cheers,


Bernd
 

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I would say it certainly would be better for the STB makers to not support DVI however, until TV's that have the DVI/HDCP inputs on them come out I really don't see many of these boxes being made since there is currently nothing you could hook one up to. Unless there was a coordinated rollout of displays and STB's with these input/outputs it will be slow, especially considering that several dsplay maufacturers have said that they do not intent to support DVI/HDCP.
 

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If everybody is so worried about this DVI issue, why don't you all just write or call your Congressman. They are the ones who signed off on this change(NTSC to HDTV) in the first place. I'm a big fan of, "I believe it when I see it". To my knowledge, there has not been ONE DVI only device on the market. Or did I miss something? My bet is that there will be a DVI to Analog component converter available. Just as you can currently purchase an analog to firewire converter.

On the positive side of things... Wouldn't a positive affect of DVI to DVI be a better picture??? With a straight digital and no analog conversion I'd bet that it might be...

Remember that the glass is half full or half empty. That's up to you.
 

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The JVC D'Ahlia set has DVI/HDCP inputs. I don't know of a shipping set-top with outputs yet, but obviously Echostar, DirecTV and Cable Labs have announced the intention to develop them.


I don't think a coordinated rollout is required, though. The displays will have both analog and DVI inputs, and the STB's will have both types of outputs. That will allow for DVI to phase in as more components adopt it.


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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 http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/image_uploads/images.jpg


All I can say is what a mess! It was bad enough that the masses out there were electing to sit out this whole digital realm. In retrospect, I guess they were the smartest group of all. We who pioneered (excuse the pun) this new digital realm by taking the early plunge are the one's who are going to get screwed by the very same companies we all supported early on!


Personally, I'm sick of the whole mess. You know...I need to get out of the house more often anyway!
http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif


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